The first nine months of the year has shown strong performance results for Spanish Meliá Hotels International. In line with market consensus, the group has kept up its consistently high summer totals across its Spanish and Mediterranean resorts and the country's city hotels, once again contributing to annual revenues in the Q3 2017. During this traditionally very important period for Meliá, RevPAR rose by 12.3 percent in Spanish hotels while city hotels experienced an even higher increase by 17.8 percent than in resorts, which grew by 8.1 percent.
Catalonia's political unrest has harshly affected 11 Meliá hotels operating in the region. However, that impact remains impossible to fully quantify. To lessen the blow to overall performance, Meliá has directed group event bookings to its other hotels outside of Barcelona.
The 5-percent increase in revenues, 7.8-percent increase in EBITDA, excluding capital gains, and 6.1-percent increase in global RevPAR—for the the 29th consecutive quarter—prove the group's positive performance growth. Financial management, where Meliá has continued to reduce debt, has reached a total of €584 million with a net debt to EBITDA ratio below two.
Meliá stated in its quarterly report that positive hotel performance was the main force behind the 23.3-percent rise in net revenues due to brand strategy and product repositioning. These projects the repositioning and rebranding of the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques in Madrid, the hotels in Magaluf, including the Meliá Calviá Beach, and the hotels in Torremolinos, Ibiza, Menorca and the Canary Islands.
Digital leadership, commercial strength and efficient distribution stood out as key drivers of Meliá's high results. Melia.com topped Meliá's list of sales channels, as sales through the website grew by 17.9 percent up to September. Following its move to a business model mainly focused on management, the company grew its expansion pipeline to include 89.2 percent of projects being developed under management agreements. Management fee revenues also saw above-average rises by 12.7 percent on a global level.
Internationally, the group's signings will total more than 30 new hotels before the end of the year, including the Meliá Iguazu or Gran Meliá Venice. In Asia-Pacific, the region with the highest growth rate in the company's hotel portfolio, Meliá recently signed five new hotels in China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.